6:31 am, March 2, 2015

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  • Funny isn't it?
    Just me
    Congress only seems to care about Feds when it's time for re-election. Then they either want our vote (there are over two million of us) or they want to pander to the public by bashing us. That being said, Congress should not forget that the federal government will get what it pays for. Cutting retirement benefits (again) is likely to make federal service less attractive, to younger employees AND will put more pressure on other forms of compensation (pay) during good economic times. Cutting fed pay and retirement won't even begin to solve the debt crisis, while opening the door to other problems.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • High 5 vs High 3 is better than Cutting FERS Supplement
    contrarian
    $100 month for lifetime is less than $1,000-1,200 per month for 6 years. Once again they're taking advantage of people who are bad at math. The FERS supplement is the key issue.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • The FERS supplement is the key issue
    DOtransportation
    This is exactly right! FERS Employees might as well concede the high-three / high-five change and focus all attention on the proposal to eliminate the promised and advertised Social Security Supplement ... Without it you will need to either work until 62 to retire (vs 57 ) OR pull an extra 100K out of your TSP from age 57-62 to make up for the SSS shortfall This is a serious attempt to steal 100k from each FERS Employee! Make some noise!!!
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • FERS supplement is the key issue
    Chuck@IRS
    Exactly! This Congress is effectively raising the retirement age of FERS employees from 57 to 62! That's breach of contract! FERS was created 26 years ago under a very specific contract that stated what would be paid after working for a number of years. 26 years into that agreement this Congress wishes to change that contract. I should be shocked, but this is coming from the same group that thinks they can balance a budget by withholding 3% from an item that is 20% of the whole. They’re not really big on math, and apparently, ethics and accountability either.
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  • To Chuck
    Moderate
    Both are major issues. See my response to Contrarian.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Breach of Contract
    Linda
    Not....I talked about the Breach of Contract issue with a Pension Specialist I work with. He said due to the way the FERS is set up, it is not a Breach of Contract. Now you are, of course, entitled to ask for a 2nd opinon on this......My brother-in-law in the private sector already had their defined pension plan eliminated, not just made to pay more in, but gone. Those who were over 50 at the time got to keep it and finish. Those with less than 5 years on the job lost it entirely, and those in the middle got to keep credit for what they had earned, but could earn no more. So for a FERS person with 25 years on the job, they would have gotten 25% of pay in the pension, but with them working 10 more years they would have gotten 35% plus, but no they are held to the 25%.............I don't think it is right either, but is was legal.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • to Contrarian
    Moderate
    $2200/year for 30 years plus the reduction in COLA's caused by this reduction is way over $60000. So I beg to differ with you on this one. They are both big and should be fought. Divide and conquer is not the best way to handle the issues.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Moderate's math is fuzzy
    contrarian
    You're assuming a CSRS person who lives past 90, certainly not the average retiree, and certainly not the FERS situation. FERS supplement cut would be $1,200 x6x12=86,400. FERS high five cut would be $117x12x25(avg life expectancy past retirement)=$35,100. CSRS high five cut would be $187 x 12 x25=$55,100. So while the CSRS cut could be bad, IT'S DONE OVER 25 YEARS! While the FERS Supplement cut comes at the first 6 years of retirment! You talk about COLAs but ignore the time value of money. I'm not trying to divide and conquer, but I believe in shared sacrifice and not just balancing the budget on the backs of FERS employees.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Contrarian's fuzzy math
    Moderate
    You put this nonsense in Monday's column and Friday's column. See Monday's column for my response. And note that since we depend on the defined benefit much more than FERS people we get hit much more than FERS people with the high 5. And note that you did not include the COLAs in your computation. Also note that you would lose the supplement and that is it. The high 5 affects CSRS people for the rest of our lives. As I wrote before, stop the divide and conquer. You will lose. I will retire before high 5 goes into effect. So I will not be affected. if you haven't noticed, I have supported the FERS people's positions even though I am not affected by them. How about you doing the same with CSRS people.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Not Just You
    Linda
    It's not just you. When the Federal workforce goes down below workable levels (and if they get rid of the SSS, it will be sooner than later), good luck hiring new people. With all the bad publicity these days, I wouldn't work for the government unless I had no choice............................... Actually at the time I joined the government I didn't have a lot of choice if I wanted a job. Unemployment was 11.5% at that time. (The housing market had just peaked and took a nose dive for 3 years (right after we bought our first house), held steady for 6 years before climbing like gangbusters.- sound familiar?).............In a few years it will all shake out and people will want to work for the government......but the biggest hires are always at the beginning of a resssion, when good people can be lured in and before budget cuts start.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • the other numbers
    deployed decoy
    I believe in Tammy, one of the few people I have ever asked a hard question to and received not only an answer, but the right answer. That said base salary, those of us overseas receive is much lower. Yep we get some incentives and sometimes COLA, but not always. For example the only people 10 years past the DOD 5-year overseas rule I know, dont get either tax free housing allowance or COLA because they were local hires decades ago. They keep extending because the family is overseas with them and the Govt keeps extending them because they are really CHEAP labor compared to moving them to the states and a family of 5 over to replace them that would get all the incentives from 9 times zones away. Thus a GS12 step 10 takes 78,355 into retirement from Germany or Iraq. That is a 24+% reduction for the rest of someones life. Now the State Dept does care enough for their global employees to figure virtual High 3 at the Washington DC Locality Rate. No they dont get that higher salary retroactive 3 years, but the High 3 is figured as if they had earned the High 3 in DC… The sitting president back when State did this wrote a memo chastising State on this. The policy continues, and no other federal agency has the money or pride in the work force to implement this same policy that has been protocol and precedence established for over ten years. I do ask what a QSI is. I have been in four different agencies 28 years. I have known exactly one person who got a valid QSI. I was told one year I got a $4000 cash award that a QSI is just too difficult to justify, when I said to the boss a QSI would have been sweeter in the long run. I do know a few that gripped for a desk audit grade increase, and got moved into a higher special rate job, non competitive grade increase to a different desk, and other very questionable salary increases. But those folks were all very important to the mission, anything to keep them happy but a QSI apparently.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • High 3
    Cathy
    I'd rather have high 3 over FERS supplement.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • High 3
    Linda
    Me too. I plan until working until at least 62 anyway.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Breach of contract
    1st generation American
    Why did the Prez pay all the bankers millions in pay and bonus? They had a contract.(I think the contract was voided when the company went bankrupt) Well I signed one as well my first day of employment 20+ years ago. Why is the bankers contract more important than the one to Federal Employee's?? I see a class action suit coming if they try to do this. Another thought is why don't our elected officals cut thier pay and benifits? Why should a congress person get lifetime health and pay for 4 yaers of service? I don't here many recommending cutting this to save $$.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
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